Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Correction

Jason Perry asked where the funding for Cassini was in the budget I posted in the previous blog entry.  The proposed document I looked at didn't discuss Cassini at all.  I went back to the original Bush administration FY09 budget and found, "Cassini has been transferred to the Outer Planets Program."  This would mean that a substantial portion of the money I "projected" from that line item to future mission development would not be available for building future planetary craft.

I want to re-emphasize that the budget analysis was not meant to be precise -- almost all the guesstimates for future mission costs, for example, are certainly wrong in the details.

Rather, the message is that while $1.3B per year for planetary exploration seems like a large amount, it does not allow for lots of new missions to be added to the roadmap in the coming decade.  Running out existing programs and plans likely will use up available funds unless Congress appropriates a larger budget. 

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